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Homelessness on the rise among school-age children

In 2011, "60 Minutes" interviewed families in the Orlando, Fla. area who were homeless, or nearly so.

CBS News

WASHINGTON - The number of homeless school children is rising in U.S. schools.

New Education Department statistics say 1.3 million homeless children were enrolled in U.S. schools in the 2012-2013 school year. That's an 8 percent increase from the previous school year.

School districts reported that nearly 76,000 of these students were living on their own.

A vast majority of all the homeless children were living in "doubled-up" quarters, meaning multiple families were living together not by choice. About 70,000 were identified as living in a hotel or motel.

The statistics likely underestimate the true number of homeless kids. The numbers don't include homeless infants, toddlers, young children not enrolled in public preschool programs or homeless children not identified by school officials.

"60 Minutes" reported on this problem in 2011, interviewing families in Florida that were living in school buses. CBS News' Scott Pelley looked at the crisis of homelessness in the Orlando area, specifically at some of the youngest victims of these recent tough times.

The children featured in the profile spoke about hunger and the difficult decisions their families face to make ends meet, such as choosing food over electricity.

The report, seen by millions, spark a flurry among viewers who wanted to help. Here are some suggestions how, compiled by CBS News.